Tuesday, 30 October 2012

E-BLOCKS








 


Introduction

E-Blocks® is a teaching system developed by the Positivo Corp. The institution has a 30-year experience devoted to education. We have a board of experts that ensure the quality of all our products. Having a network of 2,200 affiliated schools and over 600,000 students using our teaching methods, we are committed to providing quality classroom programs in connection to our research based educational findings.
Scientifically research data were the basis for E-Blocks® project development.
By collecting data and inputting it into our program, E-Blocks ensures that students, even struggling ones, get the basic support and practice they need to become skillful and motivated learners.
Product Description

E-Blocks® is an innovative method for teaching English as a second language and for initial literacy exposure. Based on the well-known premise that children learn by doing, the E-Blocks® approach provides unlimited hands-on interaction between children (ages 4 to 10) and the subject matter.
Panel & Blocks

E-Blocks® employs a revolutionary panel that makes it easy for students of all skill levels to interact with engaging multimedia software. Children identify letters, spell words, and build sentences by placing palm-sized blocks labeled with letters and symbols into the panel’s pockets. The intuitive and manipulative nature of the interface makes it universally accessible. Students with limited previous exposure to English and to technology can benefit as well from E-Blocks®. Designed as a working corner station, E-Blocks allows teachers to easily manage and supervise learners.

E-Blocks® is used for teaching English as a second language and for initial literacy exposure in:
• Pre-schools and Kindergartens
• Primary schools
• Language centers or ESL programs

Research

The research findings include insights into important roles of:
• Phonemic awareness
• Constructivist activities
• Associations between hearing, reading and doing
• Social, Emotional development and team building
• Multiple sensory learning

E-Blocks® incorporates all of the findings, bringing these insights into the classroom learning environment.
1 – Phonemic Awareness

E-Blocks® is a classroom solution that provides a unique methodology that promotes phonemic awareness in accordance with the findings of the American National Reading Panel (2001).

a. Phoneme isolation
      Children recognize individual sounds in a word.
      Eg: What is the first sound in van?
      The first sound in van is /v/.
b. Phoneme identity
      Children recognize the same sounds in different words.
      Eg.: /what sound is the same in foot, five and frog?
      The first sound, /f/, is the same.
c. Phoneme categorization
      Children recognize the word in a set of three of four words that       has the ‘odd’ sound.
      Eg.: Which word doesn’t belong? Bus, bun, rug.
      Rug does not belong. It doesn’t begin with /b/.
d. Phoneme blending
      Children listen to a sequence of separately spoken phonemes,
      and then combine the phonemes to form a word. Then they
      write and read the word.
      Eg.: What word is /b/ /i/ /g/?
      It’s big.
e. Phoneme segmentation
      Children break a word into its separate sounds, saying each
      sound as they tap out or count it. Then they write and read
      the word.
      Eg.: How many sounds are in grab?
      /g/ /r/ /a/ /b/. Four sounds
f. Phoneme deletion
      Children recognize the word that remains when a phoneme
      is removed from another word.
      Eg.: What is smile without the /s/?
      Smile without the /s/ is mile.
g. Phoneme addition
      Children make a new word by adding a phoneme to an
      existing word.
      Eg.: What word do you have if you add /s/ to the beginning
      of park?
      Spark.
g. Phoneme substitution
      Children substitute one phoneme for another to make a new
      word.
      Eg.: The word is bug. Change /g/ to /n/. What’s the new word?
      Bun.

Phonemic awareness instruction helps children learn to read. It also improves their reading comprehension. Phonemic awareness instruction aids reading comprehension primarily through its influence on word reading. For children to understand what they read, they must be able to read words rapidly and accurately. Rapid and accurate word reading frees children to focus their attention on the meaning of what they read. (Center for the Improvement of Early Reading Achievement (CIERA). (2003) Put Reading First: The Research Building Blocks for Teaching Children to Read. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.)

2. Constructivist Approach
E-Blocks® adopts a constructivist approach that emphasizes learning by doing. By promoting a hands-on, direct interaction with the content, E-Blocks® encourages children to generate their own set of rules and models, which then become the basis for further learning experiences.

3. Total Physical Response
E-Blocks® follows the principles of the Total Physical Response (TPR) teaching method, promoting the associations between hearing, reading and doing. The use of concrete materials coupled with (abstract) computer generated stimuli is a research proven method that fosters the development of cognitive skills. The studies of e.g. Ball & Blachman (1991), Bradley & Bryant (1983, 1985), Ehri & Wilce (1987) and Tangel & Blachman (1992) determine the enhanced effectiveness of phonemic awareness instruction when students have the opportunity to physically manipulate letters.

4. Social Skills
There is strong evidence that early social and emotional development and language development are closely interrelated (Espinosa, 2001).
E-Blocks® provides a unique system for promoting social interaction and group discussions that enhances and enriches students’ learning experiences. Each E-Blocks® panel is designed to accommodate up to six students working simultaneously on the tasks presented by the software, making it ideal for small group pull-outs. Research evidence points to the higher level of achievement obtained by cooperative teams. Students that work in groups achieve higher levels of thought and retain information longer that students who work individually (Johnson and Johnson, 1986). Shared learning provides opportunities for discussions and empowers students by giving them responsibility for their own learning and foster critical thinking skills (Totten, Sills, Digby, & Russ, 1991).
A child who is socially and emotionally ready for school and thus ready to learn is confident, friendly, has good peer relationship, concentrates and persists on challenging tasks, has good language development, can communicate well, listen to instructions, and is attentive. (Huffman et al.,2000)

5. Multiple Sensory Learning
E-Blocks® focuses on activating all senses as much as possible. Children take in information through their senses: they learn what they see, hear and do.
Each student has a different learning style and preference for one sensory channel over another. The kinesthetic, auditory and visual stimuli provided by the manipulation of the blocks and the multimedia software responses afford access to the content to students with multiple learning styles (Gardner, 1993). This is why E-Blocks® is such an effective learning tool. It provides a balance of visual, auditory and kinesthetic presentation, processing and practice of linguistic information.
E-Blocks® employs multimedia software that is designed to be engaging and accessible. Animated characters, voice capabilities, and full-color graphics are known to motivate students (Van Dusen, & Worthen, 1995) and to outdo in some instances textbook-based instruction (Mikk & Luik, 2003). E-Blocks® avoids the negative effects of cognitive overload reported by e.g. Berry (2000) by using a uniform and familiar set of icons and consistent operation of the software.

Conclusion
E-Blocks® enables children to experience language through all their senses in a fun and relaxed way.
The activities establish a strong foundation for both listening comprehension and reading skills.
Hands-on learning- the use of manipulative materials - adds kinesthetic feature to the system that reinforces learning.
The software provides a wide variety of fun activities and intellectual stimulation that encourages a gradual learning process. The entire product is based on problem solving and not rote-learning.
This system contributes to a child’s social and cognitive skills development, emotional growth, and gross and fine motor skills. Discussions and interactions are initiated; students collaborate with each other to solve common challenges.
E-Blocks® provides theme and topic-based learning, using familiar and relevant contexts that are part of the child's universe.
References

Ball, M.E., & Blachman, B. (1991). Does phoneme awareness training in kindergarten make a difference in early word recognition and developmental spelling? Reading Research Quarterly, 26, 49–66.
Berry, L. (2000) Cognitive Effects of Web Page Design. In Instructional and Cognitive Impacts of Web-Based Education (ed. B. Abbey), pp. 41-55. Idea Group Publishing, London.
Bradley, L., & Bryant, P. (1985). Rhyme and reason in reading and spelling. Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press.
Bradley, L., & Bryant, P.E. (1983). Categorizing sounds and learning to read - A causal connection. Nature, 301, 419-521.
Center for the Improvement of Early Reading Achievement (CIERA). (2003) Put Reading First: The Research Building Blocks for Teaching Children to Read . Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office.
Ehri, L.-C. and L.-S. Wilce (1987). Cipher versus cue reading: An experiment in decoding acquisition. Journal of Educational Psychology 79(1): 3-13.
Gardner, H. (1993). Multiple intelligences: The theory into practice. New York: Basic Books.
Johnson, R. T., & Johnson, D. W. (1986). Action research: Cooperative learning in the science classroom. Science and Children, 24, 31-32.
Mikk, J. & Luik, P. (2003) Characteristics of multimedia textbooks that affect post-test scores. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning 19 (4), 528-537. doi: 10.1046/j.0266-4909.2003.00055.x
National Reading Panel, The (2001). Teaching children to read: An evidence-based assessment of the scientific research literature on reading and its implications for reading instruction—reports of the subgroups. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Education.
Tangel, D.M., & Blachman, B.A. (1992). Effect of phonemic awareness instruction on kindergarten children’s invented spelling. Journal of Reading Behavior, 24, 233–261.
Totten, S., Sills, T., Digby, A., & Russ, P. (1991). Cooperative learning: A guide to research. New York: Garland.
Van Dusen, L.M. & Worthen, B.R. (1995) Can integrated instructional technology transform the classroom? Educational Leadership, 53, 2, 28-33.
Espinosa, L. (2001). The connection between social-emotional development and early literacy. In Set for Success: Building a strong foundation for school readiness based on the social-emotional development of young children.
Huffman, L.C., Mehlinger, S.L., & Kerivan, A.S. (2000). Risk factors for academic and behavioral problems at the beginning of school. In Off to a good start: Research on the risk factors for early school problems and selected federal policies affecting children’s social and emotional development and their readiness for school. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina, FPG Child Development Center.

No comments:

Post a Comment